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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise after reporting season, Nuplex gains on takeover clearance

Friday 2nd September 2016

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New Zealand shares rose as investors took a favourable view of the outlook for some companies after earnings season. Ebos Group, Metro Performance Glass and Nuplex Industries gained. 

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 2.9 points, or 0.04 percent, to 7,426.11. Within the index, 29 stocks rose, 17 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $168.9 million.

"The large-cap, high-dividend stocks are still seeing good demand in an environment where interest rates remain low," said Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere. "We're in a bit of a holding pattern as people sit back and assess the results. We've been through a busy reporting season which has only just concluded. Now people are asking what that means and what are our expectations. The market's had a pretty good run and we've heard some rather sanguine outlook commentary, so it really is a period where people are consolidating."

Nuplex Industries rose 1.9 percent to $5.45. The company confirmed its takeover by Allnex Belguim SA had received antitrust clearance from the European Commission, paving the way for its transfer into the hands of the private-equity backed Belgian company to create one of the world’s largest makers of coating resins. 

The shares will cease trading on the NZX and ASX at the close of trade on Monday, Sept. 5. Shareholders owning the stock on the record date of Sept. 7 will receive $5.43 per share, and a dividend payment of 3.15 cents per share due to a delay in receiving EC antitrust approval, and the shares will be delisted from the NZX and ASX  at the close of trading on Tuesday, Sept. 13. 

Ebos Group led the index, up 3.8 percent to $18.60.

Metro Performance Glass rose 3 percent to $2.08, Heartland Bank gained 2 percent to $1.52, and Restaurant Brands advanced 2 percent to $5.65.

Fletcher Building rose 0.1 percent to $10.67 and is up 45 percent this year. 

"I've had a number of brokers asking whether we've got selling," Ward said. "That's one of the companies people are looking to enter. It's in a good space at the moment - a low interest rate environment, increasing housing demand and this is a company which benefits from high construction activity, which both of those attributes encourage."

Skellerup Holdings was the worst performer, down 2.9 percent to $1.36, while SkyCity Entertainment Group dropped 2.7 percent to $4.77.

The dual-listed banks fell, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group down 2.2 percent to $27.60 and Westpac Banking Corp falling 2 percent to $30.24.Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.8 percent at 5:25 New Zealand time. 

Outside the main index, Turners dropped 1 percent to $3.02. The financial services firm says 137 holders of its convertible bonds have elected to take shares when they come due on Sept. 30, amounting to 75 percent or the debt on issue, or $17.4 million. 

Chairman Grant Baker said the conversion rate was higher than expected and "reflects the market’s confidence in the group’s strategy and continued growth.” Last month, the company announced a new offer of up to $30 million of convertible bonds, subject to approval by shareholders at their annual meeting on Sept. 14.

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